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Apparel manufacturing in New York City saw its high in the 1960s, when over 200,000 found employment in the rag trade. That number has been whittled down to 14,900 as of last year's average, according to the New York State Department of Labor, but there may be hope yet.
Crain's published a piece yesterday about the growing interest in American-made goods, from brands seeking efficiency to consumers warming up to the value, despite the added cost. After the jump, we've listed eight big takeaways on the small-but-significant rise of made in NYC apparel.
1.) Domestic production can run as much as 40% higher than overseas manufacturing.
2.) 75% of consumers say they'd pay the premium for US-made goods, up from 50% in 2010.
3.) Manufacturing in the US means that retailers can respond to stock levels more efficiently by ordering smaller batches of product as needed and cutting down on end-of-season markdowns.
4.) Stoll America opened a factory on West 39th Street in 2009 and has seen orders increase 30% from 2010, employing 21 people from their original staff of 12.
5.) Keff NYC, a knitwear factory on West 36th Street, opened in December and has signed Abercrombie, Opening Ceremony, Burt's Bees Baby, and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games (reaction to Ralph's uniform criticism, perhaps?).
6.) Knitting machines go for $100,000 a pop.
7.) Brooks Brothers produced 1.5 million cravats at their factory in Long Island City, Queens last year, made by their 300 employees.
8.) Menswear designer Patrik Ervell notes that buyers from Japan, China and South Korea are looking for product specifically based on its made in America status.
Coupled with Walmart's recent $50B made-in-America announcement, it looks like there's some sun shining onto Seventh Avenue right now as major players reconsider the almost-extinct garment district.
· 'Made in USA' sees an uptick [Crain's]
· Woah: Walmart Promises $50B in Made-in-America Product [Racked]
· Ralph Lauren Pledges To Make 2014 Olympics Uniforms in the USA [Racked]